A Sustainable Kids’ Valentine’s Day Craft (+ Some Smarter Candy Swaps)

Last Update: April 4, 2024

Want to teach your kids to care for the planet while they celebrate V-Day? This sweet, sustainable Valentine’s Day craft is a low-waste alternative to store-bought card boxes or bags. 

All you need is a leftover cereal box from your favorite morning breakfast, some butcher paper, and any craft supplies you already have on hand to create a completely waste-free Valentine’s Day card box for your child’s school party. With a “mail slot” on top, this box is ready and waiting to be filled with valentines! 


1 empty cereal box
2-3 sheets recycled butcher paper, wrapping paper, or construction paper
Ribbon or soft rope
Hot glue
Craft knife

Colored pencils


1. Using a craft knife, cut a rectangular slot in the front of the cereal box, large enough for a standard postcard to fit through. This is your “mail slot.” (Note: This part is probably best reserved for mom or dad, since there’s some cutting involved!)

2. Glue the top of the box shut so it’s secure.

3. Cover the front of the box with the paper of your choice. Firmly glue down the sides so it’s completely covered.

4. Find the original cut rectangle on the front of the box and carefully cut the paper wrapping so it shows through. 

5. On one of the long sides of the box (where you would usually find the nutrition label), poke two holes in the center, about 3 inches apart. This is where your “handles” will go.

6. Cover the rest of the box with paper, gluing as you go.

7. Find the holes you made on the side of the box and poke them through the paper. Thread the rope or ribbon through the holes to make a handle, then tie double knots on each end of the ribbon (inside the box). Pull the knots taut and glue them to the inside of the box.

8. Now, decorate your Valentine’s Day card box to your heart’s desire!

Better-for-You Valentine’s Day Candy Ideas 

Now that your little one has a place to stash their valentines, you may be looking for some sweet, sustainably sourced, lower-on-sugar candy options. Here are a few of the best Valentine’s Day candy ideas from Thrive Market. 

YumEarth Organic Valentine Lollipops
Made with natural flavors and completely allergen-free, this value-sized bag of Valentine’s Day lollipops will make both classmates and parents happy. 

Chocolove Dark Chocolate Heart Bites 55%, Very Cherry
In a timely heart shape, these cherry-filled chocolate bites are great as a Valentine’s Day treat for older kids. 

YumEarth Valentine Gummy Fruits
These colorful, individually wrapped packets of heart-shaped gummy candies are made with natural flavors and no high fructose corn syrup. 

Unreal Milk Chocolate Gems 
Add these colorful chocolate candies to small pouches and tie them with a festive ribbon to make sweet Valentine’s Day gifts for a group.

Justin’s Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
With organic chocolate and real peanuts, these individually wrapped peanut butter cups are the perfect alternative to the classic bite-sized treat. 

Cocomels Coconut Sugar Caramels 
Instead of the usual sugar-packed caramels, opt for these single-serving coconut sugar caramels made with creamy coconut milk. 

More about Valentine’s Day: 

12 Kid-Friendly Cookies, Candies, and Treats for Your Little Valentines
35 Best Chocolate Recipes for Valentine’s Day Happiness
Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies Recipe

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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